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UNSUNG HEROES: After Suicide Ambush, Airmen Ignored Their Wounds To Save The Team
On Dec. 21, 2015, Master Sgt. Aaron B. Frederick and Staff Sgt. Bradley D. Mock, both from the 824th Base Defense Squadron, were on a patrol roughly three miles north of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, when a man approached on a motorcycle laden with explosives.
Six airmen were mortally wounded and five others critically injured when the suicide bomber drove into the joint patrol and detonated the explosives, reports Air Force Times.
Frederick was disoriented by the explosion and sustained second degree burns, but was undeterred as he led the survivors in establishing a perimeter, and directed back-up forces to send in a medical evacuation, notes WFXL, a Fox News affiliate,
U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Walker, left, 820th Base Defense Group commander, pins a Purple Heart medal on Master Sgt. Aaron Frederick on July 8, 2016, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson
In spite of his wounds, Frederick insisted that the other wounded personnel receive treatment first when the medevac arrived, and remained on the battlefield until he accounted for all members of the team.
After the blast, Mock, a tactical security element radio telephone operator, was knocked unconscious for a few minutes and received cuts to his face from the explosion. When Mock regained consciousness, he called for immediate assistance from the back-up security team while triaging two severely wounded teammates, in addition to securing sensitive equipment and intelligence.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Mock during his Bronze Star award ceremony on July 8, 2016, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson.
Together, the two airmen ensured the casualties and survivors were extracted quickly and safely within 40 minutes of the blast.
On July 8, Mock and Frederick were awarded Bronze Stars with valor devices for their decisive and quick action. In addition, each was awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal and the Purple Heart.
Master Sgt. Aaron B. Frederick and Staff Sgt. Bradley D. Mock were both awarded a Bronze Star with "V," a Purple Heart Medal, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal during a July 8 ceremony at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson
Four of the airmen killed belonged to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and in March, the command named Frederick and Mock, along with Staff Sgt. Flavio Martinez of the 105 Security Forces Squadron, honorary OSI agents. The command is a federal law enforcement agency that provide criminal investigative, counterintelligence protective services, and reports directly to the secretary of the Air Force.
"Following the Dec. 21 attack, the immediate actions of three defenders were nothing short of heroic," the command announced in a March 4 Facebook post. "In a time of chaos, uncertainty, and terror, they immediately ensured the safety of other teammates, cared for the wounded and protected the dignity of our fallen."
In February, two of the six airmen killed were posthumously awarded Bronze Stars with valor devices: the Air National Guard awarded Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa and Tech. Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm.
The Marine Corps has tapped a new Silicon Valley defense firm to develop a "digital fortress" of networked surveillance systems in order to enhance the situational awareness of security forces at installations around the world.
Marine Corps Installations Command on July 15 announced a $13.5 million sole source contract award to Anduril Industries — the two-year-old defense technology company and Project Maven contractor founded by Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and several former Palantir Technologies executives — for a new Autonomous Surveillance Counter Intrusion Capability (ASCIC) designed to help secure installations against "all manners of intrusion" without additional manpower.
This is no standard intrusion system. Through its AI-driven Lattice Platform network and 32-foot-tall autonomous Sentry Towers, Anduril purports to combine the virtual reality systems that Luckey pioneered at Oculus with Pentagon's most advanced sensors into a simple mobile platform, enhancing an installation's surveillance capabilities with what Wired recently dubbed "a web of all-seeing eyes, with intelligence to know what it sees."
The Marine Corps' dune buggy drone jammer may have downed two Iranian drones in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. military have officials announced.
The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer was transiting the Strait of Hormuz on July 18 when two Iranian drones came dangerously close, according to U.S. Central Command.
"This was a defensive action by the USS Boxer in response to aggressive interactions by two Iranian UAS [unmanned aerial systems] platforms in international waters," CENTCOM spokesman Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement. "The Boxer took defensive action and engaged both of these platforms."
Green Beret with terminal cancer meets Trump to rally support for military medical malpractice reform
On July 17, Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal briefly met with President Donald Trump at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina to discuss the eponymous legislation that would finally allow victims of military medical malpractice to sue the U.S. government.
A Green Beret with terminal lung cancer, Stayskal has spent the last year fighting to change the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court precedent that bars service members like him from suing the government for negligence or wrongdoing.
The Pentagon is no longer topless. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Mark Esper as the United States' first permanent defense secretary in more than seven months.
Esper is expected to be sworn in as defense secretary later on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.
"We are grateful for the Senate leadership and the Senate Armed Services Committee's willingness to quickly move through this process," Hoffman said.
The new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick that dropped last week was indisputably the white-knuckle thrill ride of the summer, a blur of aerial acrobatics and beach volleyball that made us wonder how we ever lost that lovin' feeling in the decades since we first met Pete "Maverick" Mitchell back in 1986.
But it also made us wonder something else: Why is Maverick still flying combat missions in an F/A-18 Super Hornet as a 57-year-old captain after more than 30 years of service?